The return on email marketing has consistently outperformed other online marketing channels year after year, yet email can be an underutilized revenue tactic for alcohol companies. Whether you have a craft beer business, are representing a large wine brand or a spirits distillery, here are some examples of email marketing tactics that I've seen draw in over 100k per email, for the smallest of companies.
Grow your email data-base
The first step in any successful email marketing campaign is to build a high-quality email list. To do this, avoid randomly adding people to a random email list, you generated, but focus rather on creating a genuine reason customers would want to hear from you, then broadcasting it across relevant touchpoints.
Create a Genuine reason a customer would want to hear from you
Create a genuine reason a customer would want to hear from you. Here are some examples to inspire ideas for your brand:
- Buyers love your beer already and want first dibs on a limited-edition creation.
- Reviews from industry experts on your latest creation/s
- Special offers
- Personalised taste recommendations
- Early access to tastings
- Exclusive content from your Master Blender
Make sure you record permission from the individual to contact them. In Australia, laws aren't really tight enough around this, but they should be. Spammy brands ruin email engagement for everyone, and I've never seen high performing campaigns result from emailing those that don't want to hear from you.
Create text only content
When you first start crafting your email content, focus on copy as a priority over imagery. There are various reasons for this, but one of the most critical is not what you might think, accessibility, but deliverability. See, emails that have too many images trigger spam filters, so email clients can be programmed to flag your email with suspicion. The more often you get flagged, the harder it is to crawl out of that spam-pile.
I've seen brands doing over 70k per email go to less than 10k after bringing in a marketing manager who prefers using large, imagery-based emails.
Don't let this happen to your business.
Copy first, images second.
Imagery should support copy, not the other way around
Once you've moved from copy to images, your images need to complement and enhance your content. Keep your image file sizes as tight as possible and include alt-text on your images to provide context not just to users, but ISPs on the contents of your email. Spammers tend to use lots of imagery, which is one of the reasons you'll get flagged if you use too many pics, and, from a usability perspective, too many images make your email slower to load.
Every second counts in online marketing.
Have you ever heard a radio host say, 'Hey y'all, hope everyone is having a good night yeah', or 'Hey Melbourne!' ... It's impersonable. Context can be overlooked in communication, and in email, it's the same. If your emails read as if you are speaking to a group, it's far less engaging than if you craft your email as if you are speaking to one person.
Email, like radio, is usually received one-on-one.
Personalisation can make your email campaigns more effective. The basics:
- Address the recipient by name using dynamic tags
- Create audience segments and personalise emails to behaviour such as a follow-up email to those who abandoned their shopping cart on your website.
- Tailor emails to their original subscriber preferences using segments and dynamic content
- Try not to look like a junk-mail catalogue, unless this is what the subscribe originally opted in for (you're an ecommerce-based distributor for example that shows subscribers wines according to their set preferences)
By using personalisation strategies in your brand's email marketing campaigns, you'll drive more conversions and revenue for your bottom line.
Don't let your email list die
It can be a neglected tactic in email marketing - a clean list. We can be so focused on growth, that the actual quality of the list dies, impacting your brand equity in ways that's very hard to recover from.
If you ever wondered how to keep your branded emails from ending up in spams, this is pretty key - keep your email list clean.
Keep Your Email List clean
Internet service providers (ISPs) use engagement metrics such as open rates, click-through rates and unsubscribe rates to determine whether or not deliver emails to subscribers' inboxes or spam folders. If your email list has a consistent low open rate, this may signal to ISPs that your subscribers are not interested in your content, and you will find your carefully crafted email content wasting away in spam folders or even blocked.
How to clean your email list
- Look for, and remove uninterested subscribers
- Run re-engagement campaigns
- Consider implementing a double opt-in process - this makes sure your subscribers are legitimately interested in your emails
- Not a technical thing, but a legal & enthical one - ensure nobody on your list is underage
Once you have a solid email list, it's time to start creating engaging email content. The most effective email campaigns are those that provide value to the reader. This can come in many forms, such as discounts, free samples, exclusive content, or educational material.
Don't forget the alcohol advertising rules
You probably already know this, but it has to be said, when it comes to alcohol marketing, it's important to stay within your country and state's legal boundaries.
In Australia, don't use any pictures of young people that could be mistaken as minors, and, it's against the law for your advertising content to encourage the purchase of alcohol to solve problems. There are also time restrictions, sponsorship restrictions and rules around where your ads can be located - you can't place your ad on media where 25% of more of the audience is likely to be under 18.
These rules apply to any campaign - whether you're promoting email opt-ins, purchases or promoting your beverages directly in email, alcohol advertising rules need to be adhered too.
Test, track & adjust emails based on performance data
Finally, it's important to track the success of your email campaigns and make adjustments as needed. This means measuring metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates, and using this data to optimize your campaigns over time.
Here's an example of a brand I worked with that I applied each of these principles too. The first email generated 33k, the 5th over 100k. Testing works, but you do have to have the patience and resources to pursue it.
Email marketing can be a highly effective tool for alcohol companies to reach out to their customers and build strong relationships with them. By focusing on building a quality email list, creating engaging content, segmenting your audience, personalizing your emails, and tracking your results, you can create effective email campaigns that drive sales and cement brand loyalty.
Need help with your email marketing? You may be interested in my email marketing services.